MP govt, 3 power discoms to bear cost of power bill waiver, subsided power schemes, says Power Minister Paras Jain
The Madhya Pradesh government is finding itself at loss to explain where it would get the Rs 5500 crore that is required for the Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's power bill waiver and subsidized power schemes that have been recently launched.
While no head has been allotted for the schemes under the supplementary budget that was passed in the monsoon session, Power Minister Paras Jain has now claimed that the government would bear 50 per cent of the burden while the rest would be passed on to the three power distribution companies operating in the state.
"These two schemes are the most ambitious schemes of the government. We aim to directly benefit more than 3 crore people through these schemes. While the government will bear 50 per cent of the cost the three power distribution companies will bear the remaining loss," state Power Minister Paras Jain said while speaking to India today.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan's cabinet in its pre-election largesse in June had approved the Mukhya Mantri Sambal Yojna through which workers belonging to the unorganized sector would be given 1000 watts of power at Rs 200 per month. Also power bills of workers of the unorganized sector and power families will be waived off till June 1.
Ever since the announcement of the Sambal scheme close to 1.8 crore people have applied for registration as workers of the unorganised sector.
Of these 15.5 lakh have already applied for the subsidised power scheme while around 24 lakh people have applied for the bill waiver scheme.
The two schemes are likely to cost anything around Rs 5500 crore and the government for the moment is diverting funds from its infrastructural projects. Interestingly, two of the three power distribution companies that are being forced to bear 50 per cent of costs are already running in losses of several thousand crores.
The Congress party has alleged that the two schemes have been launched to confuse the people.
"The government does not have money. They are not in a position to pay interest on the debt that they have taken, and now they are claiming that they will finance 50 per cent of the Rs 5500 crore. Also, where will the power distribution companies get the money from? They are already running in losses. These schemes will remain just on paper," Congress spokesman Manak Aggarwal said.